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⛳ The First Cut: Arnold Palmer Invitational DraftKings & FanDuel PGA DFS Picks & Preview l 2/28

Jason Rouslin

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Jason Rouslins gives his first-look analaysis for the API and PGA DFS picks for DraftKings & FanDuel fantasy golf lineups Viktor Hovland

The Concession gave us everything we wanted and more in terms of a golf course. It’s always nice to get a win under the belt as well, and Collin Morikawa didn’t let me down. When scores range from 1 to 10 on a course, you know there’s a bunch of fun in between. The fun continues this week and hits its peak next week at The Players Championship. But before that, we have a great course in Bay Hill and a stellar field playing it. Let’s jump right into some PGA DFS picks and preview for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

We have to wait for the Players Championship to get our first two Millionaire-Maker contests of the year, but this week is nothing to scoff at, with $250,000 up for grabs.

Here is what you can expect to find in this article:

  • The Tournament and Format
  • Course Commentary
  • Course Facts and Figures
  • PGA DFS Course Summary and Statistical Comparison
  • PGA DFS Preview, including sweat sheet and now featuring optimal lineups from last year’s event
  • Player Preview
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The Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA DFS Picks & Preview

The Tournament and Format

This is the second invitational in our last three weeks, which means a smaller but stronger field. There are a whole bunch of perks that go along with winning an Invitational, including a three-year exemption. The cut is still the normal PGA Tour cut, which is top 65 and ties. Typically the 6-do-6 percentages for tournaments like this are around 8 to 10%.

The Course

The tour goes from the Golden Bear to a King, as Bay Hill was Arnold Palmer’s pride and joy. While he didn’t design the course, he did own it for the last 40 years of his life. He was instrumental in getting the tour to come into the course in the late 1970s, and it’s been here ever since — one of the longest-running stops on the PGA Tour.

The par 72 measuring just shy of 7,400 yards is similar in nature to last week’s Concession, with plenty of native area and water in play. On the whole, it’s a bit flatter than last week, on both the course and the greens. The greens should play a bit easier. There are plenty of features that make this course so desirable, including the 18th hole and the par 5 sixth that I’m really hoping we see Bryson DeChambeau drive the green this year. The last time someone tried that was, of course, John Daly, who famously made an 18.   Maybe DeChambeau will do it Saturday when he’s safely through the cut.

Course Facts and Figures

  • Par 72: 7,454 yards

Course Difficulty

  • Last year it ranked as the hardest course on tour. But remember, it was one of the last tournaments played before the  COVID shutdown, with no majors competed. It was also quite windy, but regardless of all that, it typically ranks as one of the top 10 hardest courses on the PGA Tour.

Hole Dispersion

  • Four Par 3’s : 231, 199, 215, 221
  • 10 Par 4’s: 461, 434, 390, 460, 480, 400, 438, 370, 467, 458
  • Four Par 5’s: 555, 574, 511, 590

Grass Types and Hazards

  • Grass Type: Bermuda
  • Rough Length: 2-3 inches
  • Green Size: 7,500 square feet
  • Holes with water in play: 9

Designer

  • Arnold Palmer 2009

Facts and Figures

  • Off the Tee: Just about 64% of the fairways are hit here at Bay Hill, with an average drive of about 290 yards. Both of those rank in the middle of the pack versus the rest of the courses on the PGA Tour.
  • Approach to the Green: Even with an above-average rate of fairways hit, the greens in regulation percentage is among the lowest at just 57% last year. That ranked the third hardest on tour in the last calendar year.
  • Around the Green: While the greens are some of the easiest on tour, in fact top 5 easiest last year, the scrambling percentage was still a shade below 60%, so the green complexes must be a tad difficult to get on, but once on, they aren’t overly tricky.
  • On the Green: As just mentioned, it was one of the top 5 easiest on tour last year.

Latest PGA DFS Content


PGA DFS Sweat Sheet

The course gets its strength from the par 4’s and 3’s, as no other holes except for par 5’s end up with more than 10% of the PGA DFS scoring. The best spot at a streak would be holes three to eight. It includes two par 5’s and two of the easier par 4’s on the course.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA DFS Slate Preview

We get another big offering from DraftKings this week, though it is slightly below last week.

Previous Year PGA DFS DraftKings Results

I’ll cover two to three buy-in levels: The large-field GPP, the high-dollar GPP and the single-entry mid-level buy-in. I’ll also provide a couple of notes on the overall scoring of the event.

DraftKings Notes & Lineups 

  • $5 Buy-In $650,000 Guaranteed:
    • Total ownership of 90%.
    • It was not the optimal lineup.
    • The lineup wasn’t duplicated.
    • The cash line for the contest was 322.

  • $444 Buy-In $450,000 Guaranteed:
    • Total ownership of over 120.
    • It was not the optimal lineup.
    • The lineup wasn’t duplicated.
    • The cash line for the contest was 310.

Arnold Palmer Invitational Player Preview

While it may not be the top 50 players globally competing, it’s still a great field with over half of the world’s top 50 here to compete. Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton comes in as the lowest-ranked player in the world, with Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy and DeChambeau rounding out the golfers ranked inside the top 10 playing this week. Hovland, fresh off his second-place finish at the WGC Workday, has finally broken into the world’s top 10 after a strong ascent over the last year.


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Jason established his roots in the littlest state that could...Rhode Island. But after 29 years of bitter cold, and only being able to play golf 4 months a year, upended those roots and moved to Florida. Now two years later, Jason is a husband to Sarah and father of James as well as two Labradors (Choco and Bella) and he dedicates his time to serve as the lead of PGA content at Awesemo.com. In the time he is not diving into the PGA stats and covering this week's current tournament, you can find him researching and trading stocks, on the golf course, or somewhere hopefully lost in nature with his dogs guiding him along the way. Want to chat? Have a question about Golf/Stocks or anything else? Hop on twitter and give him a message @dfsgolfer23. You can also contact Jason by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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